Combating toxic behavior online is not just a sentiment and a slogan but a real threat to some business models – especially those that thrive on advertising.
That’s probably why Instagram is testing a “shadow ban” feature to help users and others reign in inappropriate comments and keep the comments section a pleasant place to be. What is a “shadow ban” exactly?”
It basically amounts to you being banned but not knowing it unless you look through the comments section, searching for your comments, as another user. That’s because you’ll still be able to comment and interact with the account as if nothing is wrong but no one will see the comments except for you. So, less than a full on block but more than simply “hiding” comments. The theory is that the troll gets to do what they want to do but won’t actually impact anyone else’s experience. Whether or not the troll is supposed to figure it out or what is not quite clear but we can see how most trolls wouldn’t even bother with creating another account only for the same thing to happen again.
The company is also introducing an algorithm to help moderate user comments. This tech will confirm whether or not you want to post something that it deems offensive or otherwise controversial. You’ll still be able to post something offensive and awful, it’s just that Instagram might as you to think twice before doing so.
This joins a feature from the company developed for moderating bullying comments or those that “contain attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health,” according to Instagram.
What do you think? Is a “shadow ban” mechanic more effective than a full on block? We’d love to know your thoughts. You can leave them in the comments below.
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